Saam Marathi, the general entertainment channel (GEC) from the Sakal Group, has introduced fresh shows to boost its afternoon programming.
The new shows are interactive live programmes with phone-ins, where the audience can call in and interact with the hosts and experts. The afternoon band on the channel starts at 1 pm and extends up to 5 pm from Monday to Saturday.
The Marathi GEC airs news, current affairs and a few fiction shows, but the new line-up will add five hours of live interactive programming. Viewers will be treated with five live shows of 45 minutes each. The live programming will be interspersed with another five off-line (pre-recorded) shows of 15 minutes each.
The new shows include Sughran (cookery show), Madhura (live chat show discussing and debating women centric subjects), Sare Ga Sare Gauia (antakshari based quiz show), 'Mana Maje (experts counselling on personal and professional problems of viewers) and Saam Sanjivani (health and lifestyle show).
These shows will be supported by 15 minutes recorded programmes such as Rupa Dekhane (show providing beauty and health tips), Kala Rangan (home decoration and interior designing), Tejaswini (feature on an inspirational woman professional) and Bhavisyaveda (astrological predictions).
Why go for interactive shows when the norm is to attract the women audience with daily soaps in the afternoon? "The idea is to create differentiation by giving viewers something new. These new programmes are not fiction shows as such but the format and content of these shows is high on drama and entertainment value," says Latkar.
He adds, "The women-centric programming is essentially targeted at women in the age group of 16+ but the truth is that the GEC is also watched by the other members of the family. The content is high on human interest and the new fare has interesting things to offer to every member of the family."
The channel is taking all essential steps to promote its new offering. According to Latkar, there is no denying that at the moment, the Indian Premier League and the General Elections 2009 are occupying people's mindspace. However, the channel is using print to announce its new shows and reaching out to the target group by approaching various forums and associations for women.